See The Copper Courier’s most popular stories of 2023

See The Copper Courier’s most popular stories of 2023

By Copper Courier Staff

December 21, 2023

It’s the end of 2023, and The Copper Courier has covered a lot this year.

From political stories leading up to next year’s election to listicles about all things fun in Arizona, we’ve brought you lots of local news to keep you informed and enjoying your community.

We were curious to see what our most popular stories were for the year, and when we checked the data, here’s what we found:


Speaker Johnson threatens my ability to do my job. If he gets his way, I’ll wind up in prison.

See The Copper Courier’s most popular stories of 2023

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Our top story of the year was an op-ed from Dr. DeShawn Taylor, OB-GYN and owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix.

Taylor wrote about how House Republicans’ unanimous vote in October to make Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana the Speaker of the House threatened her ability to do her job as the owner of one of only seven clinics left in Arizona performing abortions.

Johnson has championed legislation to ban abortion nationwide—he’s also supportive of bans that would limit abortion before many people would even consider they may be pregnant, and fetal personhood bills.

“They chose an anti-abortion extremist to be second-in-line to the Presidency,” Taylor wrote. “They also placed patients’ health and freedom and doctors’ ability to provide essential care on the chopping block.”

Read the full op-ed here.


Corporate drilling is sinking 3 Arizona towns—literally

See The Copper Courier’s most popular stories of 2023

Communities within McMullen Valley have sunk four feet into the ground since 1991—and 12 inches since corporate drilling in the region began in 2015. Illustration by Francesca Daly / Courier Newsroom

Our next most popular story came from our chief political correspondent Camaron Stevenson’s exclusive interview with Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes.

Businesses in the United Arab Emirates have been leasing land in rural Arizona so they could pump an unlimited amount of the state’s groundwater for free, and Mayes has been pushing back on these sweetheart deals.

The drilling isn’t just a problem for the state’s water reserves—it’s causing three Arizona towns to sink.

“The Emiratis are farming and have withdrawn so much water from the ground that the entire town of Wenden has sunk by four feet,” Mayes said. “It’s stunning, and it’s horrific for the people of Wenden.”

Read the full story here.


8 top spots for birdwatchers in the Arizona fall and winter

See The Copper Courier’s most popular stories of 2023

(Shutterstock Photo/Chelsea Sampson)

Our third most popular story this year is one for our state’s outdoor enthusiasts. Our writer Claire Mainprize put together a birdwatching guide for fall and winter, complete with types of birds seen this time of year and good places to find them.

A wide variety of birds (including raptors and sparrows) arrive to winter in Arizona, enjoying our desert scrub, warm temperatures, and arid grasslands. In contrast, the wetlands host cranes, waterfowl, and shorebirds during the winter months.

There are also plenty of year-round species that stick around, as those that live in the mountain canyons during the summer often head lower for additional warmth come winter.

Read the full guide here.


Two years in, here’s what Biden’s infrastructure law has done for Arizona

See The Copper Courier’s most popular stories of 2023

President Joe Biden (Shutterstock Photo/Philip Yabut)

November marked the second anniversary of the signing of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law, a key piece of the president’s economic agenda, and a lot of you wanted to read about its fruits.

Isabel Soisson wrote about how, since the law’s signing, $400 billion has been funneled into over 40,000 specific infrastructure projects across over 4,500 communities in all 50 states, as well as in Washington DC, in the US territories, and in tribal lands.

In Arizona, at least $6.5 billion in funding has been announced with over 423 specific infrastructure projects identified for funding, according to the White House.

Read about where the money has gone here.


We read 50 days of Trump’s Truth Social posts so you didn’t have to

See The Copper Courier’s most popular stories of 2023

Former President Donald Trump and US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Despite this daunting title, you readers made this story our fifth-most popular of the year.

Donald Trump is almost certainly going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2024 and has a roughly 50/50 shot at winning the presidency again next November.

During his first campaign for president—and his ensuing presidency—Trump was a prolific poster on Twitter (now known as X), driving entire news cycles and stoking national and international crises with his posts.

But now, due to his absence from Twitter, Trump’s digital footprint is smaller—as is the mainstream attention to his online rants. That doesn’t mean he’s stopped posting or reined in his worst impulses. In fact, quite the opposite. He’s just posting on a different site—one he had created just for him.

It’s called Truth Social and Trump posts on it a lot. Dozens of times a day.

Our writer Keya Vakil read 50 days of those posts, and here’s what he found.

Thank you to everyone who read our work this year—we can’t wait to keep bringing you news in 2024!


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